Canterbury Tales - Wife of Bath

Chaucer portrays the Wife of Bath as if she is a hypocrite,
although, beneath the words, there is a great deal of wisdom involved.

The approach that I take, is the view that this tale is advice for
women to take. This tale teaches women that there are times one should
be a feminist and times you should not. If a women would be a feminist
all her life, she probably wouldn\'t get anywhere in her life or with
any man. If a woman were not to have a feministic character anytime of
her life, she would be overwhelmed by most men, of work or whatever
the case may be.

Early in The Wife of Bath, there is a quotation said by the wife
of bath supporting the idea that she is feministic. "I don\'t deny
that I will have my husband both my debtor and my slave; and as long
as I am his wife he shall suffer in the flesh. I will have command
over his body during all his life, not he." In other words, she is
saying that she will have total control over herself, her husband, and
their household and very specifically, "...not he". This can be
interpretated that her husband will not have the same privileges as
her in the sense that he is like a \'slave\' and she will \'command\' over
him.. This quotation seems as if the Wife of Bath is leaning toward
the feministic opinion.

"Nevertheless, since I know your pleasure I\'ll satisfy your
physical pleasure." This was said by the Wife of Bath and supports
the non-feministic view. The reason this is considered non-feministic
is because the woman is giving in to the man\'s desire which goes
against feministic beliefs. The Wife of Bath has a choice of not
giving in to the man, but she decides to let the man have pleasure for
his desire not hers, because she has experienced sex before and she
knows how much men enjoy it. This quotation obviously goes against
feministic beliefs, leaving an unanswered contradiction about the Wife
of Bath.

My view on The Wife of Bath is negative. I feel that this tale is
very vulgar and contains too much involvement of sex. Besides the fact
of the tales vulgarness the Wife of Bath was a well told story and the
message was well received. This story might seem hypocritical at
first, but between the lines there is some helpful advice for many
women in the world today.